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The First-time fix rate (FTFR) is a calculation that shows the success of field workers in completing a job on their first attempt. In practice, this is service where a technician finishes the job with no need for extra parts, data, or information. This prevents delays, cancellations, and follow-up appointments.

Introduction to First Time Fix Rate

The First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) is the benchmark for field service success. It’s a sweeping statement, but we see it as a crucial performance indicator. The First Time Fix Rate shows how well your field service engineers can resolve issues on their first visit. This is service delivered without follow-up visits or additional support (#dreamy)

Achieving a high FTF is not just about saving time; it directly influences the overall performance of a business, impacting both efficiency and customer satisfaction. So why is the FTFR so significant, and what can you do to improve it? Join us as we look at the causes of and solutions to a poor first-time fix rate, and how field service analytics software is transforming FTFR.

What is First Time Fix Rate?

The First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) is a key performance indicator (KPI) used by field service organisations to measure service delivery effectiveness. FTFR refers to the percentage of jobs resolved on the first visit by a technician. This is service delivered without the need for a return visit or additional corrective actions.

How do you calculate the First Time Fix Rate?

The First Time Fix Rate (FTF) is calculated using a straightforward formula:

FTF Rate Calculation
FTF Rate = ( Number of issues resolved on the first visit Total number of service calls ) × 100

Example: If your technicians complete 90 service calls in a month and resolve 70 of these on their first visit, the FTF rate would be calculated as:

FTF Rate Calculation
FTF Rate = 70 90 × 100 = 77.78%

This is the percentage showing how efficient and effective your field service team is in handling issues right the first time. A higher FTF rate shows that your technicians are well-prepared and capable of handling issues efficiently. This reduces the costs associated with multiple site visits and improves customer service.

Why is First Time Fix Rate Important?

The significance of a high First Time Fix Rate extends beyond service efficiency. For one, it is a direct reflection of your ability to meet customer needs swiftly and effectively. Customer Retention is a critical outcome of this. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies with high FTFR rates enjoy significantly higher customer retention rates.

Result: When technicians fix problems on their first attempt, it significantly boosts customer trust and satisfaction. A first-time fix helps prevents future customer frustration that comes with repeated visits and unresolved issues.

Cost Implications are another critical area impacted by FTFR rates. Efficient first-time fixes reduce the need for return visits by your teams. This helps cut down on travel costs, labour costs, and the time spent on repeated service calls.

Result: These savings directly translate into better financial performance for your company, securing your bottom line.

If your service has a low first-time fix rate, your technicians will feel frustrated and burnt out. Your teams face increased travel time, heightened risk, and customer dissatisfaction when tasks necessitate several trips.

Result: A field service engineer who succeeds first time feels better about their work and less stressed. You will see this reflected in better overall performance and lower turnover rates.

In summary, a strong First-Time Fix Rate contributes to better resource management, reducing unnecessary expenditures on repeat visits, enhancing efficiency. A high FTFR not only shapes the quality of your services provided but also your bottom line.

What causes a poor First Time Fix Rate?

Inadequate Tools

Lack of proper tools and equipment can severely hamper your technician’s ability to resolve issues during the first visit. Without the necessary resources, your field service teams may have to schedule a second visit once the correct tools or parts are available. Ensuring that all service vehicles are well-equipped and inventory is carefully managed is essential for improving FTF rates.

Poor Performance

Technician skill level and preparation are crucial in achieving a high FTF rate. Inadequate training or mismatched job assignments can lead to poor service outcomes. For instance, assigning complex tasks to less experienced technicians without proper oversight often results in incomplete or incorrect servicing. Regular training and skill-matched jobs are vital strategies to enhance first-time success rates.

Admin Inefficiency

Administrative errors, such as scheduling the wrong resources for a job or despatching incorrect customer details, can decimate FTF rates. Miscommunications and clerical errors mean that even well-equipped and skilled service teams may not complete a job on the first visit. Streamlining your administrative processes and utilising robust workforce scheduling software can mitigate these issues, ensuring you schedule the right technician with the right information for the right jobs.

Lack of Information or Job History

Access to comprehensive information and detailed job history is crucial for field service engineers to diagnose and resolve issues on their first visit. Without sufficient background on previous service calls or customer equipment, your teams might not be equipped to handle the work required, leading to incorrect diagnoses or ineffective solutions. This gap leads to return visits once more information is gathered or after consulting with more experienced colleagues. Enhancing information availability through digital tools and databases can significantly improve FTF rates by ensuring technicians are well-informed before arriving at the job site.

How to Improve First Time Fix Rate

Improving your First Time Fix Rate is crucial for boosting customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Here are effective strategies to enhance FTFR rates:

Intelligent Planning

Dynamic scheduling and resource allocation are essential for maximising the likelihood of a first-time fix. Dynamic workforce scheduling software that considers technician skill levels, location, availability, and inventory can reduce the chances of return visits. Effective planning ensures that the right technician with the right tools reaches the right job at the right time, increasing FTF rates.

Comprehensive Training

Continuous and comprehensive training equips your field technicians with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle diverse challenges across different service scenarios. This includes training on the latest technologies, troubleshooting techniques, and customer service skills. By regularly updating training programs, companies can ensure that their technicians are well-prepared to achieve first-time fixes consistently.

Access to Information

Ensuring your technicians have access to all necessary job information and historical data before they arrive at a site is a critical factor in improving FTFR rates. This includes access to service histories, customer equipment details, and previous issues and resolutions. Mobile workforce management software can play a pivotal role here, allowing technicians to retrieve and update information in real-time, thus enabling more effective and informed service delivery.

Effective Communication and Feedback

Open lines of communication between field staff and management can foster a culture of continuous improvement, which is vital for increasing FTFR rates. You should establish regular feedback mechanisms to empower field technicians to share insights and challenges from their service experiences. Management should use this feedback to refine processes, address training gaps, and improve service strategies. Moreover, encouraging communication among technicians can facilitate sharing tips and solutions that have proven effective in the field, further enhancing the team’s overall capability to fix issues on the first attempt.

Closing Thoughts

Improving the First-Time Fix Rate is about more than just enhancing a single metric; it’s about transforming your overall field service delivery. The goal? To boost customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

The strategies we have outlined above—intelligent planning, comprehensive training, access to information, and effective communication—are the foundation of a cohesive approach that can significantly elevate your company’s service standards.

Frequently Asked Questions about First-Time Fix Rate

What is First Time Fix Rate?

The First-time fix rate (FTFR) is a calculation that shows the success of field workers in completing a job on their first attempt. In practice, this is service where a technician finishes the job with no need for extra parts, data, or information. This prevents delays, cancellations, and follow-up appointments.

What is a high first time fix rate?

A high First Time Fix Rate indicates superior performance in field service operations. Industry benchmarks vary, but generally, a rate above 80% is considered excellent. This level demonstrates that a company efficiently manages most of its service calls, resolving customer issues on the first visit, which significantly enhances customer satisfaction and reduces operational costs.

What is the first time fix rate benchmark?

The benchmark for First Time Fix Rates can differ based on the industry and complexity of service tasks. However, as a general target, businesses should aim for a First Time Fix Rate of at least 75% to 85%. Achieving or surpassing this range places a company at a competitive advantage, indicating a strong capability in effectively managing field operations and maintaining high customer service standards.

Edward Bell

Edward Bell, Totalmobile's Content Strategist, shapes and delivers compelling content spotlighting their unique SaaS solutions. With 6+ years in MarComs, his journey spans diverse marketing roles, driven by tech passion. Edward fuels Totalmobile's mission, educating and advocating for impactful solutions across sectors, ensuring ROI for customers.